When Ginny & Georgia hit Netflix on Feb. 24, viewers were treated to a mother-daughter story like no other. While it was initially compared to Gilmore Girls, the dramedy combined coming-of-age realness with darker, more adult storylines that made the show an engrossing, totally unique ride from start to finish. If you're already hoping for Season 2, these Ginny & Georgia behind-the-scenes facts will give you superfan cred while you wait.
The series follows 15-year-old Ginny (Antonia Gentry), whose whole life changes when her enterprising mom, Georgia (Brianne Howey) moves her and her younger brother, Austin (Diesel La Torraca), from Texas to the quaint town of Wellsbury, Massachusetts. While Ginny finds love and friends for the first time, Georgia deals with criminal ties from her past that may threaten the future of her entire family.
There are plenty of juicy details for viewers to look out for onscreen, but as any TV fan can attest, knowing offscreen tidbits can make the experience of watching a show even more fulfilling. Here are some behind-the-scenes secrets that may surprise even the most hardcore Ginny & Georgia fan:
1. Creator Sarah Lampert based Season 1 on her own high school experiences.
Although the drama of Ginny & Georgia can sometimes seem larger than life, many of Ginny's coming-of-age experiences were directly inspired by the writers' own high school days. "I really did fall on my way out of ninth grade Spanish, and my tampon flew across the room and hit my crush on the forehead. I got caught shoplifting. My mom ran Sophomore Sleepover," Lampert said, according to Netflix press notes shared with Elite Daily. "I've been in a very dramatic love triangle ... So keeping [the show] rooted in authenticity was important."
2. Brianne Howey was the last actor to be cast.
It's hard to imagine anyone other than Howey portraying everyone's favorite sweet southern belle with a dark past, but she didn't officially snag the role of Georgia until super late in the casting process. "We had to find the perfect Georgia, that balanced beauty, that's going to kill you with a smile but will stab you in the chest without seeing it coming," showrunner Debra J. Fisher told Entertainment Weekly. "On one the last days [of casting] ... We brought [Howey] in to read with [Gentry], and we were like, 'We just found Ginny and Georgia. There they are.'"
3. The show was actually filmed in Cobourg, Ontario.
Ginny & Georgia opens as the Miller family start a new life in the fictional town of Wellsbury. But in reality, the show wasn't even filmed in the U.S. Instead, it was shot in the tiny, very Instagrammable town of Couburg, Ontario.
4. Antonia Gentry and Mason Temple collaborated on the "Oppression Olympics" scene.
In one of Season 1's most memorable (and controversial) scenes, Ginny and her boyfriend Hunter (Temple) had an argument about the realities of being mixed-race in America, and each accused the other of not being Black or Asian enough. Some viewers criticized the scene for being unrealistic or out-of-character, but for better or for worse, the two actors actually collaborated on the dialogue.
"I was ... able to collaborate on writing a scene with Mason [in] Episode 8, when we have an argument about 'oppression Olympics,'" Gentry told Elite Daily. "Those lines we say to each other are directly inspired by our real lives." In Netflix press notes, Lampert added, "When we filmed that scene, we could tell that something personal, powerful, and special had just taken place."
5. Hunter’s tap-dancing scene was inspired by Temple’s IRL skills.
Season 1, Episode 6 (titled "Happy Sweet Sixteen, Jerk") featured an adorable scene in which Hunter performed a special tap-dancing routine for Ginny's birthday. As it turns out, the writers added the moment into the episode after learning about Temple's formidable offscreen moves. "The cast knows they can't mention anything to me, because it will find its way into the show," Lampert told Entertainment Weekly. "[Mason] had been rehearsing in the cafeteria and Deb [Fisher] walked into our office and goes, 'I just saw Mason tap dance, it's in the show.'"
6. Mental Health America consulted on scenes.
Ginny & Georgia tackles a lot of important topics in Season 1, one of which is Ginny's self-harm. The cast and crew knew how crucial portraying the topic sensitively was, so they reached out to real mental health experts for input.
"[Mental Health America] saw [Ginny & Georgia] from start to finish, and they gave us guidance on how to properly portray this very sensitive part of Ginny's life," Gentry said in an Entertainment Tonight interview. Similarly, Fisher told Netflix: "The feedback from Mental Health America was crucially important to us as we aim to shine a light on these issues and model ways teens can support each other and get the help they need without further stigmatizing mental health."
7. “MAN” already knew each other before the show.
Shortly after moving to Wellsbury, Ginny finds her three new besties in Max (Sara Waisglass), Norah (Katie Douglas), and Abby (Chelsea Clark), who were already a tight-knit friend group trio before Ginny made four. According to Waisglass, the actors had a similar dynamic IRL.
"Katie and Chelsea ... [are from Toronto] and so am I. We knew each other loosely and before we went in for our audition, we all got together and just sat around, talked, and we got really close," Waisglass told Seventeen. "So when [Gentry] came in, it was exactly like it was on the show. We were all friends and ... we kind of just took her in."
You can rewatch Ginny & Georgia Season 1 — with all of these facts in mind — on Netflix now.